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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I want to build a 5.1 system over time, but only have budget to build it piece by piece. I want to invest in good quality stuff, but also don't want to go overboard since I live in a Jersey City apartment, meaning I don't blast music and don't need to fill a huge room. I have around $600 to play with to get started.

 

I've been looking at all possible combinations (floorstanders, bookshelves, etc), and have found a couple good deals on craigslist.

 

I found 2 Axiom M60 speakers for $525. I went to hear them and they're pretty great, considering they retail at around $1100-1200. My only concern is space -- not only are these 2 speakers huge, if I were to eventually expand into a 5.1 setup, it seems like all the Axiom speakers that would go with it are enormous. And to my understanding from reading up online, it's best to stay within the same brand and model when you add the center, subwoofer, etc. Or is this accurate?

 

I also found equivalent Klipsch floorstanders for the same price. Have yet to drive out and hear them, but also seems like a good deal.

 

So the question is, do I need these massive floorstanders, or for an apartment, should I just go for 2 bookshelf speakers and maybe a center speaker or 2 bookshelves and a subwoof for around the same price as 2 floorstanders?

 

Are there any bookshelf speakers I should check out for around $400-$600 (USED PRICE)?

 

I know it has a lot to do with personal preference, but wanted to see what everyone said based on experience.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Schmidt  /t/1509560/cl-speakers-on-a-budget#post_24156499


So the question is, do I need these massive floorstanders, or for an apartment, should I just go for 2 bookshelf speakers and maybe a center speaker or 2 bookshelves and a subwoof for around the same price as 2 floorstanders?


Are there any bookshelf speakers I should check out for around $400-$600 (USED PRICE)?

Hi Ethan, your plan to build a better quality system over time is a very good one. In your current situation you don't need massive floorstanders. I suggest you start out with a pair of bookshelves and a reasonable sub. When selecting the bookshelves, do so with an eye on the centre speaker and floorstanders in the speaker "family" for the future. The sub does not need to come from the speaker manufacturer, and in fact superior performance and value is readily available from specialist internet direct subwoofer manufacturers.


Your next move should be getting the matching centre speaker from the same speaker line. Following that, your next step probably depends on your domestic situation at the time - whether you go for another pair of bookshelves as surrounds in your apartment, or go for floorstanders in a larger space with a longer listening distance, and move the bookshelves to surround duty. A second identical sub should also be on your radar at some stage, to help smooth out the bass response over a larger listening area.


Here are some speaker lines with bookshelf speakers around your price range to check out:

My pick for a top value high perfomance 2.1 system straight away is:


Best of luck with your deliberations, and have fun with it!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIEGAR  /t/1509560/cl-speakers-on-a-budget#post_24157797


^ Looks like a good option. Do you have them @zieglj01 ?


My only concern with respect to the OP's plan is that the matching centre channel looks a bit weak/small with only 4" woofers.

I have the bookshelf - and with the way the bookshelf performs, I have no real concern about

the center channel. Their are a few 4" woofers around, that can really perform. >> It looks like

Greg Timbers really did good with this design.
 

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Ethan, if you're keen on following up on the Ascend CBM-170 SE's, feel free to post in the Ascend SE Owner's thread and ask if there's any owners around your area willing to audition their speakers for you. Many enthusiasts on this forum are glad to do so in my experience.


Actually, the above applies to just about any speaker you're interested in, particularly if you're having difficulty finding a local dealer where you can audition the speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey - thanks for the advice.


What do you think of this deal on CL: $250 for the PSB B25s and the C1 center?


That might even leave me budget for a sub.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Schmidt  /t/1509560/cl-speakers-on-a-budget#post_24163520


Hey - thanks for the advice.


What do you think of this deal on CL: $250 for the PSB B25s and the C1 center?


That might even leave me budget for a sub.

That is the wrong match center for the B25 - however, you may still like

If interested, offer $200
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Schmidt  /t/1509560/cl-speakers-on-a-budget#post_24163520


Hey - thanks for the advice.


What do you think of this deal on CL: $250 for the PSB B25s and the C1 center?


That might even leave me budget for a sub.

I have the PSB Image B15s and an Image Center. They are quite veiled. I second ziegs's suggestion. The JBL Studio 530 has pushed aside a number of other speakers here including a very highly regarded NHT Classic 3 which is the best speaker in the house. The JBL Studio 530 is currently sitting on a pair of Image T45s which go back in my living room for surrounds on my main home theater when I get appropriate stands. Nothing wrong with the PSBs they just don't offer the kind of detail and clarity of the JBLs. I am not a horn guy.. but there is something both very modern and very vintage about the sound at the same time. I listen to a compilation of Sarah Vaughn including her famous "Black Coffee". It was common for me to be dropped at the Cinema as little kid and left their most of the day for a double feature and more. When the orchestral back up parts play on the album I am struck by how much that sound is the sound in the olds theaters. When I heard it on the JBL I knew the sound was right, the memories flooded back in. I have listened to this album on several very good speakers recently and none them reproduced that sound. On the Classic Three or the Usher S520 it sounded great but not authentic like the 530. This speaker may not measure as well as those but the realism is pretty magical. The JBL handles percussion amazingly you will hear the brushes on the drums, the fingers on the bongo or congas. I am just discovering this speaker and it makes me want to listen and listen. They are kind of odd looking like they belong in a darkened movie theater. They sounded great in Pure Direct without a sub. These are bookshelves you could well forgo the sub. I just used MCACC and turned on the sub... smooth got even smoother.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey - thanks for the advice - I ended up going with Axoim M60s that I found on craigslist - the deal seemed to good to pass on for $500 - quick question in reference to your comment about the sub - what do you mean by "specialist internet direct subwoofer manufacturers."? - are these companies online that build subs to your specs? Do you know which ones are good? Thanks so much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great thanks. Will check these out. Is it as tricky pairing a sub with other speakers like it is pairing a center speaker (where you need them to be the same tone and everything)? Or does it not matter as much which sub you pair with which speakers? I'm paring the sub with 2 axiom M60s
 
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